By Emma Sanders
Maarten Stekelenburg made a bright start to the 2016-17 season but the Everton goalkeeper should be axed this weekend, according to a reliable journalist.
Liverpool Echo reporter Chris Beesley has claimed that the Dutchman should be dropped for Saturday’s clash against Manchester City.
After earning an international recall for Holland, Stekelenburg made a mistake as his side were narrowly defeated 1-0 by France on Monday evening.
It was an important World Cup qualifier between the two top sides and Stekelenburg’s performance has been questioned.
Beesley believes Joel Robles, who was sidelined by Ronald Koeman after taking the Everton reins this summer, should be in goal against City.
“While his considerable experience of top class football – 400 senior matches and over 50 international caps including a World Cup final – give him the edge over his Goodison rival Joel Robles who has spent most of his career as a number two, there remain nagging reminders that despite his unflappable demeanor, Stekelenburg is a veteran keeper seemingly past his best and now somewhat lacking in his spring,” wrote Beesley.
The goal-keeper broke through the ranks at Ajax under current manager Ronald Koeman so it’s understandable that the Blues’ boss would show extended faith to Stekelenburg.
However, Beesley goes on to suggest the Everton keeper’s recent performances against Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace are indications of his falling standards.
“Even if he is excused for his somewhat flimsy attempt to claim the cross that led to Middlesbrough’s goal at Goodison this season given that the burly Alvaro Negredo appeared to push him and the ball, Stekelenburg appeared thoroughly flat-footed and helpless to do anything about Christian Benteke’s headed equaliser for Crystal Palace in the Blues’ most recent home game.”
The article also includes comment from Andy Townsend, who was quoted saying the keeper wasn’t good enough during his commentary of the game on ITV 4.
“He gets his hands to it, he’s got to save that and has got to do better, it’s a poor effort,” said Townsend.
“Stekelenburg doesn’t move his feet, he just leans to his right it’s not good enough,” he added.